Sweet Potato and Cilantro Parathas

Parathas, flaky, griddle-cooked flatbreads, are a popular breakfast food in South Asia.  They’re especially delicious stuffed with potatoes (aloo) and spices. My mother-in-law taught me how to make aloo paratha the traditional way, but I decided to put my own twist on the recipe, swapping potatoes for sweet, starchy Japanese yams.  I added two common ingredients…

Black Sesame Challah

My favorite challah recipe, adapted from Eveleyn Raab’s cookbook The Clueless Baker, is delicious on its own, but sometimes I like to jazz it up. A few years ago, I added South Asian spices to form “masala challah.”  Here, I sprinkled on black sesame seeds, which not only look stunning but add subtle flavor. When I…

Apple Butter Pecan Bread

This is an autumn variation on banana bread, adapted from a recipe by Genius Kitchen, with apple butter (a thicker, longer-cooked version of apple sauce) in place of the bananas. I used a simple store-bought apple butter, with no added sugar or spices, but feel free to experiment with using a flavored homemade variety. With butter…

Double Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

There are two kinds of chocolate in these not-too-sweet shortbread cookies: cocoa powder and white chocolate chunks. Shortbread, which has origins in Scotland, is delightfully smooth and buttery; a high ratio of butter to flour “shortens” the gluten strands in the dough, producing tender cookies. The dough is often baked as one large circle and cut into…

Chocolate, Peach, and Pecan Tarts

Garnished with fresh peach slices and toasted pecans, this is a summertime twist on my recipe for mini tarts with Greek yogurt mousse and chocolate shortbread crust. For the filling, which is a lighter, healthier version of chocolate mousse, I swapped Greek yogurt for quark, a yogurt-like cheese from Germany. Creamy and slightly tangy, quark…

Pesto-Coated Garlic Knots

In my latest column in The Knockturnal, I wrote about a new fixture at my weekly pizza nights: garlic knots brushed with two coats of extra-garlicky basil and walnut pesto, one before baking and one right after. The  pesto adds oomph to this classic pizza accompaniment, which is simple (and fun) to prepare at home using pizza…

Mini “Everything” Pretzel Rolls

The idea for these flavorful pretzel rolls came to me when I tutored a group of children over the summer. After weeks of providing store-bought pretzels as a snack, I decided to surprise the kids with a homemade treat. I adapted my favorite soft pretzel recipe from Chowhound, and added some “everything” bagel seasonings: dried onion…

Black Sesame Sandwich Cookies with Dark Chocolate Filling

For my birthday this year, a friend surprised me with a black sesame cake filled with layers of chocolate ganache. Inspired by those flavors, I incorporated black sesame, an Asian ingredient used in ice cream in Japan, as well as glutinous rice dumplings and sweet soup in China, into a classic American dessert: the sandwich cookie, made popular…

Peach Burrata Pizza

A friend and I came up with the idea for this pizza in the middle of winter, and waited until a July afternoon to prepare it. We brushed a homemade pizza crust with olive oil, sliced some peaches, and spooned on creamy burrata, an Italian cheese made from buffalo milk mozzarella filled with curd and cream….

Yogurt Plum Squares with Date Almond Crust

The other day, I saw ripe yellow plums on display at my local fruit and vegetable market, and couldn’t resist buying a whole bag of them. Every summer, the shop’s owner picks up fresh produce from farms just outside New York, and the plums were among the crops that had recently been harvested. It was…

Chocolate Raspberry Rugelach

Rugelach, an Eastern European Jewish pastry, means “little twists” in Yiddish.  With their crescent shape and flaky, buttery crust, these  bite-size treats are cousins of the French croissant. They are typically filled with fruit preserves, cinnamon, nuts and/ or chocolate. When I set out to make rugelach at home (having long eaten rugelach at bakeries, I…

Blueberry Almond Buttermilk Muffins

I took my favorite buttermilk muffin recipe, from the cookbook Clueless Baker by Evelyn Raab, and added almond extract, fresh blueberries, and a crumb topping adapted from a recipe by Tutti Dolci. In place of store-bought buttermilk, I stirred together milk and lemon juice, and let the mixture turn acidic and curdle. Buttermilk lends tanginess and…